Add KarateForums.com
Username:    Password:
Remember Me?    
   I Lost My Password!
Post new topic   Reply to topic    KarateForums.com Forum Index -> Karate
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 See a User Guidelines violation? Press on the post.
Author Message

GS718Trek
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 08 Oct 2014
Posts: 114


PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2022 6:35 pm    Post subject: Aesthics/technique vs commitement to training for promotions Reply with quote

Should someone be promoted based on display of proper technique and aesthetics? or would you also consider promoting someone with sub par display of technique/aesthetics, but that student is very committed to training and is present for most of the classes?

Things to keep in mind are persons physical ability etc..


I say this, because My previous experiences with other Karate/TKD dojos have been different.

Certain Dojos will still promote a student because the student is very dedicated to training but still exhibits ability of a lower rank than that person is qualifying for. (With out sugar coating) for example, I have seen brown or black belts that still display the ability of a lower kyu student. I understand certain people have limitations and not all are naturally talented. Many factors come into play such as age etc..But for whatever reason they have gone through the ranks because that student attends most classes and trains hard.


Would you adhere to this type of philosophy for promotion or does everything need to be crisp and aesthetically pleasing in addition?

I struggled with this because I see both sides to it. I commend that persons dedication to training and can agree to the merit of promotion.

Then again.. I take pride in the system Ive trained in and can see if others were to view an individual with an advanced belt in the system, but displays poor technique then it would make the system less credible and for the most part.. (to be harsh) embarrassing..
And yes I can easily say "who cares what others think" but this is the question for time being

I think it would be more common in stand up TMAs (Karate, TKD, Hapkido etc) because alot of the things we do are based on form with very little resistance/effectiveness training against other opponents testing.

It is not a topic meant to offend so pardon me, Im pretty sure its come across many of you that are very experienced. Id like your thoughts on and humble opinions as I know many of you teach and run your own dojos.

Thank you


Last edited by GS718Trek on Thu Feb 10, 2022 7:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

GS718Trek
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 08 Oct 2014
Posts: 114


PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2022 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will add, I totally understand the martial arts is for the individual and that it is just a tool do be used with in the persons ability and understanding.

This is just a side topic
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

tatsujin
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 12 Oct 2021
Posts: 162

Styles: Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2022 7:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Aesthics/technique vs commitement to training for promot Reply with quote

Interesting question as there are certainly a number of different ways to look at the situation.

I have had circumstances where I had no published curriculum or grading requirements. Students tested when I told them they would and the passed or failed totally on my own decision.

I have had circumstances where I had published requirements and you could test at any given grading. I let the students decide when they could test, but if I felt they were "off the mark", then I let them know that privately. Again, it was my sole decision as to who passed and who did not.

Both of those instances were in a non-commercial school environment and were very small numbers of adult students.

I have seen instances where someone would come into the school with prior training and rank from a different school or style. They thought they were going to breeze through all of the things they thought they knew or could already do and didn't not train as hard or often as others. So, in essence, they were not "eating bitter" like the other students were.

Whenever I had published requirements, I always included something about attending a minimum number of classes. In my old Shotokan days, one of my first dojos had you sign in and they kept track of it. You also had a membership card that had to be updated when you paid your monthly dues. Not current? No testing.

For instructors with published requirements, they should always have something in there that addresses "intangibles" or some kind of instructor discretion. There are "black swan" types of situations that can come up and the instructor should have some sort of latitude in being able to deal with it. And, that latitude should be known to all PRIIOR to the testing event to avoid hurt feelings.

At the end of the day, if anyone meets any published requirements or minimum, then they should get the promotion unless there are some sort of mitigating circumstances.

In the case you describe, I think it would also depend a bit on what the goal of the school is. If the school is about self-defense or combative types of situations, then just being "pretty" is not going to cut it in my opinion. In that scenario, what they are doing is just basically dance and they can go to the dance school down the street for further training. If they are a school that is competition oriented (like doing forms) or a school more concerned with "perfection of character", then it is more form over function and they might well qualify for the promotion (albeit, a hollow one in my personal opinion).

In rapidly approaching 5 decades in the combative arts, I think I have seen almost everything...LOL! I have been in a situation where the head instructor just approached me one evening before class, handed me a belt (higher than current rank) and told me to put it on. I have also had gradings where I jump to grades instead of one (happened twice, different instructors).

As I have aged, I tend to take a more "traditional" approach to rank. I am actually promoting someone to the next level I want them to be at...they grow and learn into the new rank. BUT...I do have to be clear that I don't and have not ever run a commercial school. AND, I only teach adults. And the vast majority of those adults usually have prior training (including well into the yudansha rankings. So, it may not be situation the would apply to everyone.

Not sure I have specifically answered your question, but maybe I have given you something to think about...
_________________
For me bujutsu is not a set of techniques, but a state of the body. Once the principles are integrated, the techniques surge spontaneously because the body is capable of adapting instantaneously.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

GS718Trek
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 08 Oct 2014
Posts: 114


PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2022 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Aesthics/technique vs commitement to training for promot Reply with quote

tatsujin wrote:
If the school is about self-defense or combative types of situations, then just being "pretty" is not going to cut it in my opinion. In that scenario, what they are doing is just basically dance and they can go to the dance school down the street for further training.


thank you for the response and it has given me perspectives to dwell on


Ill say Although a student can go through the "motions" of techniques, I would assume their form would still have to be a big factor in progression, since good form translates to good technique if I'm not mistaken. "form" IMO falls under the umbrella of "looks"

I mean you see alot of teachers correcting the heck out of students for the right posture, fist, stance etc..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29324
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2022 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe each student's progress in the Martial Arts is not tied to anyone else's accomplishments, but their own. I feel there are technical standards that should be met, but by and large, I don't let a student's lack of natural ability hold them back from rank advancement.

There are multiple facets to consider with a student, as well. Someone may not be as aesthetically pleasing to watch perform a hyung/kata as others, but what if that student has a job in which he constantly puts his skills to work, and successfully? Like as an LEO, security, or some other field. I think that is something that plays into a student's advancement, as well.
_________________
www.haysgym.com
http://www.sunyis.com/
www.aikidoofnorthwestkansas.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15773
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2022 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Should someone be promoted based on display of proper technique and aesthetics? or would you also consider promoting someone with sub par display of technique/aesthetics, but that student is very committed to training and is present for most of the classes?

Nope!! Nope!!

Students are here to learn and CI's are there to teach; both being effective but only in time. Students fail Testing Cycles because they're still not mature in their technique. Black belts are the worse of not being mature in their techniques, and they wonder why a technique isn't effective, as though it's the technique's fault and not them.

Students aren't allowed on my floor if I discover that their true reason to be on my floor is for rank. Demonstrate the effectiveness of said technique, and I might, and I mean I might, promote them.

No display of consistent effectiveness will need far more than just some display of proper technique and aesthetics or being committed to training. I don't need or want these types of students, not now, not ever.

Demonstrating the minimum of improvement in effectiveness in said technique will get said student farther, but nothing's ever guaranteed; no matter how pretty said technique appears.

Take all of that stuff down the street!!



_________________
**Proof is on the floor!!!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-robert-mitcham-fight-cancer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1920
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2022 7:17 am    Post subject: Re: Aesthics/technique vs commitement to training for promot Reply with quote

GS718Trek wrote:
Should someone be promoted based on display of proper technique and aesthetics? or would you also consider promoting someone with sub par display of technique/aesthetics, but that student is very committed to training and is present for most of the classes?


If the student is the latter then they will have no issue waiting until they are the former. When I train, I train to do the thing correctly and I revel in moving up when I have achieved that status. No student is committed to training without understanding that not getting promoted as fast as they wanted isn't a bad thing. Learning takes time, and, when committed, time makes the passion burn hotter.
_________________
Martial arts training is 30% classroom training, 70% solo training.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15773
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2022 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: Aesthics/technique vs commitement to training for promot Reply with quote

Zaine wrote:
GS718Trek wrote:
Should someone be promoted based on display of proper technique and aesthetics? or would you also consider promoting someone with sub par display of technique/aesthetics, but that student is very committed to training and is present for most of the classes?


If the student is the latter then they will have no issue waiting until they are the former. When I train, I train to do the thing correctly and I revel in moving up when I have achieved that status. No student is committed to training without understanding that not getting promoted as fast as they wanted isn't a bad thing. Learning takes time, and, when committed, time makes the passion burn hotter.

Solid post!!



_________________
**Proof is on the floor!!!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-robert-mitcham-fight-cancer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

tatsujin
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 12 Oct 2021
Posts: 162

Styles: Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2022 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GS718Trek wrote:

thank you for the response and it has given me perspectives to dwell on

Ill say Although a student can go through the "motions" of techniques, I would assume their form would still have to be a big factor in progression, since good form translates to good technique if I'm not mistaken. "form" IMO falls under the umbrella of "looks"

I mean you see alot of teachers correcting the heck out of students for the right posture, fist, stance etc..


Thanks! I am glad that you found some benefit from it.

As to your other comments above....

Well....ummm...yes....sort of...

So, with no other context set, if we are in a "perfect" world, then yes...function should follow form. But, that is not always the case. An example (and yes, I will TRY to keep it brief)...

A fellow came to me for some specialized training...he was a Shotokan yudansha..a shodan or a nidan...I don't remember. But, I knew his instructor and he made the proper requests/introductions, etc. and we set to it. He had very nice looking Shotokan technique. Big double shoulder wide zenkutsu-dachi (前屈立), crisp gyaku-zuki (四本拳突), crisp oi-zuki (追突) and to (what I would call the "untrained eye") he visually had good kime or focus (決め). That lasted until we got to the makiwara (巻藁) which I love as a training tool. Instead of doing a tsuki (突き), the hand was leading the punch.

NOTE: In the Japanese and Okinawan arts, tsuki is referred to as a "punch". The word actually means "to thrust". So, the punch is not really a punch...especially the way that more Westerners think of a "punch". But, that is a bit of a different topic. When you put something in front of tsuki (like gyaku), it changes to "zuki" but means the exact same thing. Japanese is a fun language. So, tsuki = zuki.

Anyway, he thought he had great technique and power. So, I got him all lined up in his stance and showed him how to get the right distance. I told him to hit it at about 10% to 20% power. LOL! I thought he broke his hand! From there we got into correct power generation and delivery.

The point here in my long winded example is that he did absolutely look beautiful in his technique. And, coming from a somewhat traditional Shotokan dojo, that is what they were concerned with. They did kumite (組手) or sparring, but it was all things like ippon kumite (一本組手), sanbon kumite (三本組手), etc. So, a very, very compliant uke (partner or receiver) and no one was trying to really "tag" the other person. I could take someone that I had trained for 6 months and have him have better functional punches (and other techniques) than this black belt.

So, in this case, the pretty form did not equate to actual function. If this black belt were to get into a fight and my 6 month in mudansha (無段者) were to get into a fight (either against each other or against different opponents), my money is on my student all day long. In this case, function beats out the form.

I also have to say, for the sake of conversation and friendly debate, I am a bit biased. I practice a "martial" art in the actual sense of the name. Combative...life protection or preservation. I am not concerned about "polishing the spirit", becoming a better person, enlightenment, moving meditation, etc. Even though I do teach Taoist based skills that can result in better health, longevity, mental clarity...even enlightenment....that would be icing on the cake. All of those trainings have combative applications and that is the primary reasons they are included in my curriculum.

Back to the topic...Yes, as an instructor, you should be training your students to have good form. Especially the new(er) students. And, there should be a progression of good form as they move up the ranks. And once they hit shodan, that form should be pretty good and they then begin to work on refining that form. By and large, by the time someone hits shodan, they have been taught the vast majority of the techniques they need...with the exception of some specific or specialized techniques coming out of the more advanced kata of their system.

I am on a rambling roll this morning, so let's keep going for a minute....

Look at this whole situation in reverse....and another hopefully quick story...

Several years ago, I got to attend a private seminar that was held with a gentleman from China who was a lineage holder in Baguazhang (八卦掌 - Eight Trigram Palm). He was quite old. Well into what we would call elderly. When he was demonstrating walking the circle and palm changes didn't look all that great. I don't mean that as an insult to him. His student (who was probably 40 or 50 years younger than him) "looked" much better. Good form versus not so great form. HOWEVER! Once I got to do push hands (推手 - tuishou) with him, it was a VERY different story. He told me (through a translator) to come at him with power. I did. First time he shot me about 4" or 5" off the ground and backwards about 5 feet. So, his form was not all that great due to age. But his form? Literally some of the best I have ever felt. The point of the story here is to remember that we start "yang". Young, strong, fiery, etc. But as the concept of yin and yang (or in and yo if you prefer), we end up back at yin. Old, slower, etc. But, there is always yang within yin....and yin within yang. Over time you may loose form. But, if you have been correctly trained, the function will remain...the yin within the yang...sorry, getting all Taoist on you.

To close (FINALLY! Right?)...I put function over form. You or your instructor may have different goals or outcomes when form is the predominant desired outcome. However, I do want form as well. But, if form is following function, that is OK...as long as I am seeing a progression of both. Again, I want the yang (function), but I need to see yin (form) in that function.

Ramble mode off...sorry, it's Friday and I am feeling really good today. Hopefully something in there is of worth to you.
_________________
For me bujutsu is not a set of techniques, but a state of the body. Once the principles are integrated, the techniques surge spontaneously because the body is capable of adapting instantaneously.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Miick 11
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 01 Jan 2021
Posts: 122


PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2022 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would not work in my club .

Because we dont have 'kyu' to be 'promoted' through .

An instructor tried it in the past and after a couple got to Shodan ..... they stopped coming so much , so it sort of backfired .

The 'traditional' way ( with us , via Kosei Nishihira ) , with those he considered his students , after some time he would just tell them ; 'Now you are Nidan . " or whatever . And that was based on attendance , skill and comprehension .

One thing he appreciated and encouraged in overseas students , when visiting, was involvement and interest in traditional Okinawan Culture .
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    KarateForums.com Forum Index -> Karate All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


< Advertising - Contact - Disclosure Policy - Staff - User Guidelines >